Archive by Author

Moving from Theology to Doxology

Millard Erickson

Today’s guest post is from Johnny Cisneros, of our Design & Editorial department.

When I was in graduate school, I had the privilege of taking systematic theology of J.I. Packer. He started every class lecture by saying, “Arise, friends, let us sing the Doxology!” After singing and a word of prayer, he would remind us, “The goal of theology, friends, is doxology.” That is, our view of God should inspire us to worship God.

Dr. Packer’s devotional approach to theology was evident even in his choice of textbook for the course – Millard J. Erickson’s Christian Theology. Here’s just an excerpt:

“Because God is a person (indeed, he is pictured as our Father), our relationship with him has a dimension of warmth and understanding. God is not a bureau or a department, a machine or a computer that automatically supplies the needs of people. He is a knowing, loving, good Father. He can be approached. He can be spoken to, and he in turn speaks” (Christian Theology, pg. 296).

Now that’s the kind of doctrine that moves us from, “You’re right, God” to “You’re good, Father.”

Are you interested in moving from theology to doxology?

Then check out The Moody Theological Studies Collection (10 Vols.) on Pre-Pub.

Other great titles by J.I. Packer:

Also by Millard J. Erickson:

In a future blog post, I’ll introduce you to a theologian who had a profound influence on Millard J. Erickson.

Taking Advantage of Video Tutorials

Video Tutorial

We are amassing quite a collection of feature and tutorial videos for Logos 4. At present, there are over 80 videos covering a variety of topics aimed at helping you get the most out of your Logos 4 experience. If you are looking for some help understanding things like Passage Guides, Layout Management, or Customizable Guides these video tutorials provide a wellspring of information. Would you believe there are six videos alone aimed at helping you use the Notes feature to the fullest!?

We would love to see all Logos 4 users seeing these videos as a valuable tool in their Logos 4 arsenal. Each video is—on average—a four minute investment into using your Logos 4 software to its fullest. An investment which is promised to pay huge dividends in your devotions and study time. In fact, we are so convinced of this that we intend to feature these videos here on the blog site on a semi-regular basis. Stay on the look out for more featured tutorials.

Before You Install Logos 4

If you are considering an upgrade—or a first time purchase of any Logos 4 Base Package—then you are going to want to take a couple of minutes and watch this video. It will walk you through installation, setup, your Logos.com account, resource downloads, and indexing. This video is a great tool to help kick off your Logos 4 experience.

Help Us Help You

Forums

The release of Logos 4 has presented us with some new challenges. At launch we had a strategy to deal with the influx of issues that we knew were going to come flooding in. We kept the phone lines open later and we brought customer service representatives in on the weekend to help our customers upgrade and familiarize themselves with the new product as much as we could. In fact, a few days ago, in a very transparent blog post, Logos President and CEO Bob Pritchett shared some of the challenges that we have faced.

Growing Pains

Logos 4 has been more successful than we could have hoped. And although this is something we are so thankful for, it has created challenges in customer service that we are hoping to have remedied soon. Many companies would say, “You are overwhelmed in customer care issues because of the success of your product? That is a great problem to have!” On some level this is true, but Logos prides itself in its customer care, and one customer who is unhappy with the care they have received is one customer too many.

Our goal for customer service is to have every email answered in 24 business hours, every phone call answered—by a person—in a few rings, and hold times of less than two minutes, if any. Sadly, wait times have crested the half-hour mark and because of that the emails are stacking up as well. This is not acceptable to us, and we are in the midst of hiring and training more agents.

How You Can Help Us

In order to help keep wait times down, we could use your help. Here are a couple items that would help our customer service and technical support representatives help you.

If you need to call the customer service number, please know that we are working hard to get to your phone call as soon as possible. I know how it gets after you have been on hold for about 15 minutes. You get weary of waiting and yet you are already invested . . . you are tempted to start multi-tasking. . . . . that makes sense, but to help us get through as many calls as possible, make sure that you are near your computer when we are ready to take your call. If you have disks for your installation, make sure those are available. In fact—and I know this sounds silly to say—make sure the computer is on!

Some customers opt for contacting customer service via email. Much time is wasted when our representatives open an email that simply says, “I can’t install my program,” “my software is crashing,” or “I get an error when I try to install.” It is hard on you—and us—when you have to wait a couple days to have a response to your email and that response is a generic request for more information. If you are emailing us with an issue remember to give us as much information as you possibly can. We would rather wade through some impertinent information than have to come back to you to request more.

Include information like:

  • Which program you are contacting us for help with. Logos 3? Logos 4?
  • If you are emailing with Logos 3 issues, include your Customer ID #
  • Let us know what operating system you are using
  • What is the nature of the issue that you are calling about?
  • If you are receiving an error message, what does it say?
  • Does the error message include an error code?

Before contacting us there are a couple avenues that might save you some time. The Wiki page has some very helpful information like Help! Logos won’t start at all. What can I do? and Help! Help was working fine, but now it’s crashing on me. What happened? You can also check the FAQ page for some up-to-date tips.

As we have said before, and cannot communicate more emphatically, many of the issues that people contact customer service for have been discussed in the forums. We would love to talk to each one of you, but we want to ensure that your problem can be dealt with as quickly and efficiently as possible. The Logos Forums are read regularly by both employees and very knowledgeable users who relish the opportunity to help others. The forums allow you to easily search for topics—or create threads of your own—related to whatever trouble you might be struggling through at the moment.

We are very proud of Logos 4 and the advances that it represents for powerful and effective Bible study. With any successful product launch comes enormous, and sometimes unforeseen, growing pains. We want to reinforce our commitment you—the end-user—we are working as hard as we can to provide you with the care and attention you deserve. Thank you again for your patience and continued loyalty.

Logos: Rising Above a Sea of Apps

iphone-small.pngI love a good giveaway! The day Apple announced the iPad we decided it was something we needed to provide an opportunity to win. I spent some time on Apple’s site that day—reading their copy and watching the videos—and thinking through the implications of a more accessible, mass-market tablet. I did smile at the promise of 140,000 apps at your fingertips, from day one. I wondered, “What percentage of those apps will actually add value to owning an iPad?”

When iPhone’s software development kit (SDK) was made available to third-party developers in February 2008 it allowed them to create applications to be sold through Apple’s iTunes store. On November 29th, 2008 Apple celebrated reaching 10,000 apps in the iTunes App Store. By June 10, 2009 they were just shy of 50,000. It is a little more than seven months later and there are 134,215 applications currently available for download from iTunes. By the end of this year there is a projection that over 300,000 apps will be available for download. The app industry is a juggernaut and—with the introduction of the iPad—it shows no sign of slowing.

Continue Reading…

There’s a Place for You at BibleTech:2010

ForumsWhat is in store for the next generation of Bible technologies? How is mobile technology changing the way we experience the Scriptures? How is social media transforming the way the people of God approach biblical community? What are the processes and implications of putting the Bible into a format like the Xbox 360? What software and applications are affecting the way that the Scriptures are translated? These are the kinds of questions that industry insiders will be answering, March 26-27, at BibleTech:2010.

This year’s BibleTech presenters come from a diverse background of educators, programmers, developers, publishers, executives and ministry leaders. This diversity provides a well-rounded platform from which to speak about the number of ways that technology is influencing how we approach and study the Scriptures.

Your registration gives you access to more than 25 sessions, three catered meals, and a conference T-shirt. But perhaps even more importantly, you will build a network of contacts with others who share your interests.

Continue Reading…

The Type of Letter Editors Love to Receive

Click Here to Read The Article!

Today’s guest post is from John Barry, the Editor-in-Chief of Bible Study Magazine

One of the best parts of my job is receiving letters. We respond to every one.

I recently received a letter with the subject line: “Today was better than Christmas!”

Good evening John,

I am a new subscriber to your magazine. To be honest I did not even know it existed until a few months ago. I was reading an interview and in the side bar were some cute facts about the gal being interviewed, Wendy Pope. One of the questions she had answered was, “What is on your nightstand currently?”. Her answer was My Utmost for His Highest and Bible Study Magazine. Because Wendy is a fellow lover of all things studious of Scripture, I quickly googled “Bible Study Magazine” and purchased a subscription that very day.

I am a stay at home mom, passionate student of the Word and am currently writing my first book, a study on the book of Ruth. I cannot tell you how thankful I am to have found you when I did. A true gift!

Today I received my second edition and when my husband brought it into the house I actually giggled like a little child on Christmas morning. Can I just say, I love your magazine? I love the interviews, I love the Hebrew Word Study without Hebrew, I love the tricks and tidbits to experience a richer study. And I love the fact that there are actually useable, workable Bible studies in a magazine! I can now say I truly have a favorite magazine and it is yours! It was so needed in the church! Thank you for following God’s call to serve His church in this way. I pray you are blessed one-hundred fold!

Blessings and many thanks!

O’Nealya

Maybe you are like O’Nealya and are looking for a better way to study the Bible. If so, Bible Study Magazine is for you.

Maybe you are a Logos Bible Software user and think Bible Study Magazine is not for you. I know you can still get a great deal out of reading our publication, but nonetheless, if you are happy sticking to your current guns for Bible study—and Logos Bible Software 4 is definitely a fantastic set of guns—that’s fine. But I suggest you consider helping others get into the Word with Bible Study Magazine.

Think about who you know who could use motivation for studying the Bible. How about the people who are struggling through the Bible, and are beginning to feel a little frustrated: Tell them about Bible Study Magazine. Maybe even buy them a gift subscription. Just enter their address in the shipping field at check out.

Bible Study Magazine is for everyone. Help other people get into Bible study this year. Tell them about Bible Study Magazine or subscribe now!

Biblical People: My New Favorite Feature

One of the things I love about Logos 4 is its ability to take something conceptual and make it visual. Logos 4 does this with the help of topographical and interactive maps, high-resolution infographics, Visual Filters, various types of Passage Analysis, as well as many other diagrams, charts, and graphs.

One feature that I find myself returning to often is Biblical People. Biblical People makes understanding complex lineages as well as other interpersonal relationships in the Bible easier by providing diagrams of family trees and links to Scripture references pertaining to that individual throughout the Bible. All of those genealogies, that I might gloss over, suddenly begin to make sense. For a visual learner such as myself, there is no way to communicate the world that is unlocked by features such as this.

One of the great things about a feature like Biblical People is its accessibility from anywhere I am in Logos 4.

Let’s say I am reading in Exodus and I am interested in seeing Moses’s genealogy. All I need to do is right-click on his name, select Person from the window that opens (screenshot) and then choose Biblical People from the top left of the next window. It’s that easy, and it opens up in a separate window so I can have it available while I continue in the text.

Another easy way to access Biblical People is through the Passage Guide. When I put Moses’s birth and adoption story (Exodus 2:1-10) into the Passage Guide, it searches My Library and opens up all relevant Commentaries, Cross References, Parallel Passages, and a host of other important tools including Biblical People. In the preview pane for Biblical People (screenshot) you get a preview of artwork and archaeology that follows the verse theme as well as various trees and visuals that fit with that theme, too, including Slavery in Egypt, Joseph Sold as a Slave, and family trees for Moses, Miriam, Levi, and Kohath.

From the home page you can go right to Biblical People by choosing Tools and clicking on Biblical People under the Bible Facts header (screenshot).

Once I am in the Biblical People window there is so much useful information laid out in an uncluttered fashion. Across the top I have a quick explanation of who Moses is, a list of his relatives (clicking on any of their names opens up a new Biblical People for that character), dictionary entries from the dictionaries in My Library, and a collection of Biblical Things associated with Moses (Tent of Meeting, Burning Bush, Golden Calf, Bronze Serpent, etc.).

The center of the pane has Moses’s Family Tree. I can customize the look of the graphic with seven variants, and the scroll wheel on my mouse can adjust the size of the Family Tree. By clicking the Biblical People icon on the upper left, I can copy, print, or even send the graphic to a PowerPoint presentation.

Across the bottom runs a ribbon of associated Family Trees like Aaron, Ithamar, and Eleazar. There are also visual representations of the individuals involved in significant events in the life of Moses (screenshot). You will even find a graphic listing the Psalm Authors, which includes Moses of course. At the bottom of the Biblical People window for Moses there are 26 more associated Biblical People graphics along with 20 related works of art. It is no small feat that all of this information is laid out in such a clean and unobtrusive fashion.

This is just a peek into my new favorite feature, one that really makes Logos 4 pop. Seeing a visual representation of the various relationships in the Scriptures really cements the significance of so many people, events, and families. What makes Logos 4 so ingenious is not just the amazing amount of information but the intuitive, imaginative and graceful way that information is presented.

Biblical People is a feature that is not available in the Christian Home Library package. This is a great reason to consider upgrading if you currently have the Christian Home Library (not to mention the 144 resources you’ll get by jumping up one rung to the Bible Study Library). Take a look at the custom upgrader to see the special pricing designed to take you to the next level of Bible study.

Register for BibleTech:2010!

Forums

BibleTech:2010 preparations are in full force, and it is shaping up to be another landmark event. If you have a passion about the latest developments in Bible and technology, then set aside March 26-27 for the event, and register soon! The sooner you register the more you save, and you still have time before January 4 to save $40.00 on your registration!

Make sure to check out the speakers which will be presenting at this year’s event! Bibletech:2010 will feature a veritable who’s who from the biblical technology industry. This year will feature veterans from previous BibleTech conferences as well as many fresh faces, all delivering relevant information regarding translating, studying and communicating the Bible in a digital age. The speakers page outlines the topics that will be addressed by this year’s presenters as well as offering audio from the last two years.

If you are curious about what past attendees have said about BibleTech, check out Eric Young’s article in The Christian Post and read ZDNet Tech Blogger for Matthew Miller’s review.

This year’s BibleTech will be held in San Jose, California, appropriately nestled in the center of Silicon Valley. Discounted accommodations can be made by visiting the San Jose Sheraton event reservation site.

What can you do to help prepare for BibleTech:2010 you ask? If you have attended BibleTech in the past, or are enthused about BibleTech in general, then make sure to talk it up; Facebook it, Twitter it, blog about it, talk it up in your small group or at Church. If you have a webpage then we also have banners available to help you promote BibleTech:2010!

Remember: There are only a couple days left to take advantage of our great Christmas Specials for upgrading and purchasing Logos 4!

And don’t forget we are in the home stretch of the Twelve Days of Logos sale which ends December 31, 2009!

A Christmas Miracle: The Virgin Birth

Today’s guest post is written by Kyle Anderson. Kyle has been an integral part of the ETD (Electronic Text Development) team for the last year.
Learn to Use Biblical Greek and Hebrew with Logos Bible Software

“Late in time behold Him come/Offspring of a Virgin’s womb”

Between singing “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing,” listening to sermons, and doing advent readings with my daughter, I can’t help but think about the significance of the virgin birth.

I thought I’d take the opportunity to show how to use Logos 4 to study the virgin birth. Typing Matthew 1 or Luke 1 into the box on the Home Page and clicking “Go” is a great place to start. Doing a Bible Word Study on parthenos (παρθένος) is also a useful exercise. You can launch a Bible Word Study from the Guides menu by typing g:parthenos or by right-clicking on virgin in a verse like Matthew 1:23, selecting “Lemma παρθένος,” and choosing “Bible Word Study.”

Another direction you might take is a systematic or theological one. I started by doing a search of my entire library for “Virgin Birth.” I instantly received over 7,500 hits. Awesome, but I wanted to make my search a bit more focused.

In order to narrow it down, I made a collection of my Bible dictionaries and encyclopedias. Searching only those books yielded a more manageable 565 results. I started by looking at the article “Virgin Birth of Jesus” in the Baker Encyclopedia of the Bible. Of its theological importance I learned, “From the very beginning the doctrine of the virgin birth became the foundation of a high Christology. Many have pointed out that the earliest church fathers stressed this more perhaps than any other event as proof of the incarnation and deity of Christ” (2126). And in New Bible Dictionary I read about Biblical evidence for the virgin birth outside of Matthew and Luke. It turns out those books aren’t the only place to go for allusions to the virgin birth. Paul makes a possible reference in Galatians 4:4.

The next thing you might do is ask, “What have Christian writers throughout the centuries had to say about the virgin birth?” I quickly made a collection of all my systematic theology books and discovered over 1,000 potential targets!

The first thing I checked was G. C. Berkouwer’s chapter in The Work of Christ entitled “The Great Mystery.” In it he dealt with the virgin birth at length and connected it with a doctrine of original sin: “In confessing the virgin birth we do not attempt to exclude Christ from the original sin which supposedly would be derived from a human father, but rather from the original guilt of all who are born of Adam” (129). Clearly that’s food for thought!

In Church Dogmatics I/2, Karl Barth called the virgin birth the “Miracle of Christmas” and described the coming of the Son of God in flesh through the Virgin Mary as a “new thing” outside our normal experience as humans. And because Jesus Christ came for us and our salvation, the exclusion of an earthly biological parent excludes the possibility of us humans contributing to our salvation in any way. The virgin birth is a sign of God’s total grace towards us.

However you celebrate your Christmas, Logos 4 is an excellent tool for understanding the significance of this important season.

Calling All Forum Newbies

Forums

This post is aimed specifically at those of you who have never posted on, or perhaps, have never even read the forums. That’s right noobs, I am looking at you!

As Phil stated in his recent blog, Getting the Most Out of the Forums, the forums are an important place to learn great new tips, get your questions answered fast, and join a wonderful community of people who—like you—are using Logos Bible Software to help facilitate their Bible study.

Maybe you have checked out the forums and you were a little confounded by some of the tech talk there. You might have thought to yourself, “Hmmm, this is a little overwhelming.” Let me assure you, with more than 10,000 people posting on the forums, statistically speaking, you cannot be the least tech savvy person there! There is a need for people of all skill levels to be chiming in, asking questions and building community. It is a way to facilitate becoming more technologically astute and, at the same time; helping to encourage discussions that others of your skill level may need to see.

Getting involved in the forums is so easy. It is simply a case of signing in. You will use the same email and password that you use to sign in to Logos.com and Logos 4. If you don’t have a Logos.com account yet, you can easily create one.

If you are brand new to our forums I would like to help propel you forward. I have started a thread on the forums expressly entitled, Newbies!! It is a nice place to jump in and get your feet wet. Tell us a little about yourself and how you got involved with Logos Bible Software.

I can promise you that there is no entrance exam and no learning curve. You just have to make that initial jump. You will be glad you did.

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